Some days smell worse than others. Here are four tips on how to get yourself and your clothes clean after a messy day.

You know the feeling: it’s been a hectic and particularly messy day on the job and everything around you smells like you’ve spent ten hours unclogging drains, which is precisely what you’ve done. Hygiene for plumbers is important, so here’s how you can effectively clean up your act.

  1. Do the surgeon’s hand scrub

This is not just washing your hands. This is getting in between the fingers and scrubbing under your nails to remove all the dirt and grime. And once is not enough. This step needs to be repeated.

  1. Ditch the overalls

Next, get out of those mucky clothes and put some clean clothes on. It helps to keep a spare set of clothes and underwear in the van or in the office if necessary.

  1. Hit the shower

This is no relaxing shower session. This is a super scrub extravaganza. Clean under your nails again, wash your hair and remember to check for dirt in your ears and nose. Remember to pay attention to your feet as well – dedicate some time to giving your feet a good scrubbing.

  1. Wash those clothes straight away

Use a heavy-duty washing powder or detergent to get those overalls clean. This should also help to remove stains and bad smells. Remember to toss in your towel and face cloth for a wash as well. If necessary, repeat the wash. White vinegar and bicarbonate of soda mixed to form a paste can help to remove stains. Apply the paste to the clothes before the wash and let it stand for an hour or so before rinsing the mixture off and putting the item into the washing machine. If you’ve been handling sewage, use a 0.05% chlorine solution (one part household bleach to 100 parts water) to disinfect your clothes. Wash your hands and rinse your clothes thoroughly after this treatment (wear gloves when you do this).

Remember that prevention is better than cure and it’s important to be careful, especially if the day has meant you’ve had to handle human waste.

Keep your hands off your face, mouth, eyes and nose and keep any open sores covered. Waterproof gloves and PPE are imperative here. Goggles, rubber boots, overalls and splash proof shields are important.

Stay safe.


  1. 7 Natural Laundry Stain Removers (
  2. What Are the Best Practices for Hygiene in Plumbing Work? (
  3. Guidance for Reducing Health Risks to Workers Handling Human Waste or Sewage | Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water | CDC